As I cycled from home to Heathrow airport, I was reflecting that my bike should have a name. Such anthropomorphis could come in useful when I needed something (someone) to blame for my sloth up the steep inclines of the Andes
. I decided upon the humble moniker "packhorse", to give a sense of the uncomplaining duty that I hoped my bicycle wouldbestow upon me. This is something of a demotion (nay, castration) for the machine that was the pride and joy of my teenage years, when I named it "Sandra" in homage to icon of my youth...
Statistics, for those number-crunchers among you
Miles munched: 0
Gravity banked: 0m
Most useful Spanish word learned: bicicleta
Amount of Spanish understood: between none and nothing
Beard status: designer stubble
So this is the start. I had to almost totally dismantle my bike to fit it in the little box that Iberia provided me with at Heathrow (and charged me a fiver for! But then it did have a picture of a bike on the side, so maybe thatīs why). By some miracle, all components arrived in South America intact. As I was rebuilding it in the foyer of Santiago airport, I looked up to see that I had drawn quite a crowd. Then a couple of taxi drivers tried to get a tip out of me for taking away the box ("or they will think it contains a bomb and shut down the whole airport"), so I got out of there, stopping at a nearby petrol station to fill my stove (much to the mirth of the staff, who are apparently unused to bicycles pulling up).